February 16, 2016
Gambella Rights Observatory
For immediate Press Release
Gambella, Ethiopia-East Africa: We are writing to you, the international community including the world press body with a sense of the utmost urgency regarding ethnic cleansing by Dr. Riek Machar’ armed forces against Ethiopian people in the Gambella Region specifically by his Nuer tribe. Today, Feb 15, 2016 hundreds of thousands Riek’s White Army have crossed the Sobat river heading to the Anyuak villages such as Akobo on South Sudan side and Jur County on the Ethiopian side. Their mission is destroy and kill as many Anyuak civilians as they can come across just similar to what they did to Greater Pibor Murle people in 2010 and 2012.
Unfortunately, our Ethiopian federal government is not taking appropriate action to prevent this ethnic cleansing by Dr. Riek Machar’s militia and his tribe Nuer from happening. Nuer genocide plan against the Anyuak people is well documented and it’s in their handbook which they methodically follow toward those whom they labeled as ” minority tribe” which includes all of Gambella indigenous namely Majang, Komo, Opo and the Anyuak. Nuer under SPLA-IO conscripted Opo people to fight in the South Sudanese Civil War, they marked Opo foreheads to become Nuer, they rape, intimidate them daily and it has gotten worse since 2014. Where in the world can a refugee community turn against the host yet the host government is giving blind eyes to the crisis if not only in Ethiopia. What really is our Ethiopian federal government is going to gain from Nuer tribe by not disarming them, Riek Machar generals are everywhere in the Gambella region traveling freely and busy consulting their Nuer how to commit more mass killing against the Gambella indigenous. About two weeks ago, Ethiopian federal security arrested two senior officials of SPLA-IO in Gambella town who were on the mission to advise Nuer how to destroy the Gambella region surprisingly nobody knows where the federal government has taken them to. What happening? We urgently ask our Ethiopian Federal National Defense Forces to take immediate action or lets our Ethiopian government tell us if our Gambella region was already sold to Dr. Riek Machar and his Nuer refugees
On January 20, 2016, Gambella College of Health Sciences and Teachers Training College assistant dean who hails from Nuer, shot and wounded an Anyuak individual who was the driver for the regional deputy governor, Mr. Olero Opiew. This shooting was after numerous of killings and attacks on Anyuak villages by Nuer people under Itang Woreda/county, Gambella, Ethiopia. This time, when the news of the shooting spread to the students at the college, fist fight and stone throwing broke out between the Anyuak and Nuer students that resulted in several injuries from both sides. Few days later, a Nuer male decided to take matter on his own hands by going to the college where he threw a hand grenade at the students of mixed ethnicities who were sitting on final examinations and an Anyuak from Special Forces unit was badly injured while trying to deflect the bomb away from the students. He lost his right hand below his wrist and three fingers of his left hand, lost his right eye and presently undergoing treatment at hospital. Nuer have also killed Habesha civilians and about 10 Majang from Special Forces Unit who were serving in one of Nuer’s Woreda/counties.
“…Nuer is a violence loving tribe, fabricators, instigators with no dispute resolution mechanism who recently migrated to Anyuak land including Gambella region during the south Sudanese armed struggle in the 1950s and 80s. I have carefully studied Nuer in comparison with their Dinka brothers and found out that Dinka don’t rush to conclusion unlike Nuer who always resort to violence unless it’s in their ways. I have witness them fighting on weekly basis in the blocks some end up with serious bodily injuries even death and the next day they are happy. …where there is Nuer there is no peace” -Anonymous former UNCHR foreign agent who worked in Itang, Pinyudo and Dima refugee camps, Gambella, Ethiopia.
Nuer burn Ethiopian flag and raised south Sudanese after attacking the federal prison where they killed 10 people wounded several and they went on chanting Gambella belongs to South Sudan. Indeed, that’s Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Koang Tut intention to annex Gambella region to South Sudan once peace is attained between SPLM-IO and the government. Dr. Koang is most senior official in the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and had served many times as Ethiopians ambassador. Dr. Riek believes that Gambella was part of Sudan that was exchanged with Kasala but that is not true. It was King Olimi Triangle (Ilemi triangle) that supposed to belong to Ethiopia and Nuer belong to Sudan however, it was colonial Britain that ceded the triangle land to Sudan and awarded Nuer Ethiopian citizenships a move that upset Sudanese government unfortunately WWII broke out so British left for the war. Upon return, British was busy leaving for 1956 agreement so they didn’t get a chance to resolve Nuer problem. Thus, Nuer citizenship issue including land remain a thorny between Ethiopian and South Sudanese governments
We conclude by calling on the Ethiopian government to live up by her obligations to protect all civilians, borders as well as international community to put pressure on Riek Machar to choose one thing i.e. peace or regional conflict. Ethiopian government must immediately close refugee camps in Pinyudo, Gambella town and Itangs areas to prevent Nuer weapon supply routes. To immediately disarm Nuer who are living in the refugee quarter of the Gambella town which known as New Land.
Gambella Rights Observatory is a body comprised of all Gambella indigenous worldwide. firstname.lastname@example.org